Since 1996 four countries have shared the spoils of the team competition in the World Surfing Games, with Brazil, USA, South Africa and Australia dominating the event. But this year, the French are stepping up to the table, with the likes of Jeremy Flores, Mikael Picon, Marc Larcomare and Maxime Huscenot getting involved. Competition kicks off on 1 August so check back and we’ll keep you updated on the latest.
Here’s the press release from the ISA…
Strong group of ASP World Tour surfers ready for the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games
One of the most important yearly events, the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games that will take place in Playa Hermosa, Jaco, Costa Rica from August 1st through the 8th, has the confirmed presence of several of the best surfers today from the ASP World Tour.
Star surfers such as Mick Campbell (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Micky Picon (FRA), Dayyan Neve (AUS), Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rossane Hodge (RSA), Amee Donohoe (AUS), Samantha Cornish (AUS), Harley Ingleby (AUS) and Antoine Delpero (FRA) among others, are getting ready right now to defend the colors of their countries in the most important team event on the planet.
Joining them will be ISA medal-holders, former ASP World Tour members, WQS surfers and regional champions such as: Cory Lopez (USA), Ben Bourgeois (USA), Matt Bemrose (AUS), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Lee Ann Curren (FRA), Marc Larcomare (FRA), Brandon Jackson (RSA), Nikita Robb (RSA), Ryan Payne(ZAF), Jay Quinn (NZL), Gabriel Villarán (PER) among many others.
Undoubtedly, the most important objective of the countries that have confirmed their presence in the next Billabong ISA World Surfing Games is to win the Team Gold Medal.
Only four countries have managed to win the Gold Medal in the General Team Ranking of the World Surfing Games since 1996: United States (1996), Brazil (2000), South Africa (2002), and Australia (1998, 2004, 2006 and 2008). The four have announced that they will come to Costa Rica full force, with the intent of acquiring the Gold.
Australia, the champion nation of four out of seven editions of the World Surfing Games, once again decided to bet strongly for the gold, and is the country with the most ASP World Tour members on its roster. Among them we find Mick Campbell, 1998 WSG Gold medalist in Carcavelos, Portugal and World Runner Up in the ASP World Tour in the same year.
On the other hand, the United Status, winners of the 1996 edition of the Games, has tried for years to reclaim the highest place on the podium. They are backing up their ambitions with a strong team, however there are no ASP World Tour members among them. At any rate, standout surfers such as Cory Lopez, Ben Bourgeois and the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship medalists Coutney Conlogue and Sage Erickson will form a tough-to-beat team.
Brazil has decided to take the youngest team in their history, with a great majority of Juniors that can surprise all, as they always do. Among them is Gabriel Medina, the fifteen-year-old that made history a week ago when he won the 6-Star WQS event, the Maresia Pro International in Praia Mole, Brazil.
South Africa will travel once again with a strong team, but with only one ASP World Tour star, the young and talented Rossane Hodge. Nonetheless, the team is considered strong and consistent, with WQS talents that are lately the talk of the town, such as Rudy Plamboom, Brandon Jackson, Ryan Payne and Nikita Robb.
A strong threat to the usual favorites, France has assembled a powerful team: two ASP World Tour stars, Jeremy Flores and Mikael Picon, two WQS stars, Marc Larcomare and Maxime Huscenot, joined by the phenomenal Pauline Ado and Lee-Ann Curren, and the copper medalist in Ecuador 2004 and highlight of the Longboard World Tour, Antoine Delpero.
The best surfing in the world will meet in Costa Rica beginning on August 1st. Follow all the action at www.billabongisaworldgames.com.